Trump pushes back Real ID compliance deadline in response to coronavirus concerns

Mar 23, 2020

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated to reflect the new Real ID compliance deadline of Oct. 1, 2021. The original post was published on March 23, 2020.


President Donald Trump announced Monday that the current deadline for Real ID compliance would be pushed back in light of recent events surrounding the coronavirus outbreak, including statewide lockdowns and shelter-in-place mandates.

“At a time when we’re asking Americans to maintain social distancing, we do not want to require people to go to their local DMV,” Trump said in a press briefing early Monday evening, March 23.

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While Trump did not give a new deadline at the time of his briefing, he told the press that the federal government “will be announcing the new deadline very soon.” The administration has subsequently released an updated deadline of Oct. 1, 2021.

Related: You can use your Global Entry card as a Real ID

The Real ID Act was implemented after 9/11 to set clearer standards for photo identification that passes a nationwide standard for verification. As of January, only about one-third of the nation — about 95 million Americans — hold Real ID-compliant driver’s licenses, U.S. passports and passport cards, military IDs, and Global Entry cards, all of which qualify as Real ID-compliant identification. 

Officials expected to see heightened numbers at Department of Motor Vehicles offices over the coming months, as more than 180 million Americans update their driver’s licenses to comply with new ID requirements.

The federal government has long warned that non Real ID-compliant documents would no longer be accepted for travel and other official identification after Oct. 2, 2020. But that deadline has now been extended to Oct. 1, 2021.

Featured photo by Tetra Images/Getty Images.

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